30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas

 
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas

    1. The Game of Possibilities
           Time: 5–6 minutes

           Purpose: To stimulate conversation, ideas, and laughter

           Participants:
           • Small groups
           • This can be done with one group or multiple groups
             at the same time.

           Materials needed: Cloth napkins

           Instructions:
           • Give a napkin to each group of five to ten participants.
           • One person at a time stands and demonstrates a use of that napkin.

           Rules:
           1. Person demonstrating cannot speak
           2. Must stand while demonstrating
           3. Demonstration must be original

           Desired outcome: Participants experience the infinite ways to use a napkin and translate
           this to the infinite ways to solve problems, use resources, motivate a team, etc.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              1
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    2. Drop the Ball
           Time: 10–12 minutes

           Purpose: Cooperation and healthy competition

           Participants: Small groups

           Materials needed: Golf balls, straws, tape

           Instructions:
           • Each small group receives 12 straws and 18 inches of masking tape. They get ten
             minutes to build a container that will catch a golf ball dropped from about ten feet.
           • Each group selects a ‘ball dropper’ — that person stands on a chair, holds a golf ball
             at eye level. That group places its container on the floor under where it thinks the ball
             will land. Each group gets three attempts.
           • The group that gets a ball to go in and stay in its container wins.

           Desired outcome: Teams can use their experiences in the game to overcome work
           problems and relational issues.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              2
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    3. Winner/Loser
           Time: 5–6 minutes

           Purpose: Negative to positive perspective

           Participants: Partners

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions:
           • One partner tells the other partner about something bad that happened to them. This
             can be personal or work-related and can have occurred recently or years ago., but it
             must be something that is over. They can take about two minutes to do this.
           • The same partner then tells the same story but this time relates the good things that
             came from this experience. The listening partner can help them explore the good that
             came from the bad.

           Desired outcome: Participants experience a way to let go of negative attitudes and
           emotional baggage.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              3
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    4. Ten Ways to Kill a New Idea
           Time: 2–3 minutes

           Purpose: Keep meetings positive

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Poster paper, markers

           Instructions: A list of negative phrases and words is posted in the meeting room. During
           meetings, anyone who uses any of the ‘idea killer’ phrases must put a quarter in the
           ‘nega-jar.’ When enough money is collected, it can be used to buy the team lunch.

           Desired outcome: Team members learn to offer suggestions in positive ways.

    5. Mission Statement
           Time: 15 minutes to several hours

           Purpose: Creating focus, passion, and group buy-in

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Pens, paper, and any team requests

           Instructions: Each person finishes the sentence, “My vision of a team that works is …”
           The entire team now creates one statement or visual that represents the total of these
           vision statements.

           Desired outcome: The team finds commonality of purpose and is more willing
           to cooperate.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              4
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    6. Lifeboat Game
           Time: An hour

           Purpose: Discover how emotions effect the success of our negotiations

           Participants: One or several small groups

           Materials needed: List of 15 people in a yacht

           Instructions:
           Give the team or teams a list of 15 people who are on a yacht. Tell them that the yacht
           developed a leak and is sinking fast. There is only one lifeboat and it will accommodate
           only nine people — not one more can fit and there are no more life boats or life jackets.
           The group must then come to an agreement as to which of 15 people gets to go in the
           lifeboat and be saved. However, they must also list those they save in order of
           importance — because if they run out of food and water the “less important people’ will
           have to be dumped overboard. Of course this is often the more difficult job.
           The key for this game is to make the 15 people on the list as controversial as possible.
           For example include a priest, minister, rabbi or all three! A pregnant woman, powerful
           leaders from both major political parties, an ex-convict, a male physician and a female
           one, a political lobbyist, people of different ethnicities, etc — the more emotionally
           charged the list the better.
           Give them a period of time to work out the problem. Make it long enough to get into
           heated discussion but short enough to be pressed for time. I usually allow six to ten
           minutes.
           The discussion afterward should be in depth and include everyone on the team. You can
           facilitate with questions. Such as …
           • What problems did you experience?
           • How did you resolve these issues?
           • Was it the best way?
           • How else could you have resolved your differences?
           • Why did these problems occur in the first place?

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              5
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
           Then…
           • How does this exercise reflect your day-to-day relationships?
           • What are the similarities between what you just experienced and negotiations at work
             and at home?
           After fully exploring these questions ask your team — or teams — to reconvene. This time
           they will list three things they would do differently now that they have had this
           discussion. Be sure to tell them that this follow-up exercise is not about the lifeboat or
           anyone on it — it is about the process of negotiation.

           Desired outcome:
           The critical take away here is that negotiation often fails because each participant wants
           to get his or her way. A better method may be to first learn the needs and intents of
           others. Understanding fosters a spirit of cooperation and therefore agreement.
           Use the three things each team determines they learned as a guide to create better
           understanding in future meetings and discussions.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              6
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    7. This Is My Life
           Time: Few minutes to 1 hour

           Purpose: Learn personal backgrounds in a fun setting

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Decks of cards — picture cards only

           Instructions: Cards represent different stages of life; i.e. Jack is childhood, Queen is teen
           years, King is young adult, Ace is now. As each person draws a card, they must tell one
           story about the period of their life that corresponds to the card.

           Desired outcome: Team uncovers common interests and opens dialogue.

    8. Recall Game
           Time: 20 minutes

           Purpose: Test after a training event

           Participants: Small groups

           Materials needed: Paper and pens

           Instructions: Break into teams of five to ten people. Each team has ten minutes to list as
           many facts or skills as they can remember from their training. A representative from each
           team then reads the list and gets points for each correct fact remembered. All other teams
           can challenge any point.

           Desired outcome: Instructor learns what was important to the group and how much was
           retained. The group takes a test that is fun, engaging, and creates team cooperation.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              7
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
    9. Cartoon Character
           Time: 2–3 minutes

           Purpose: Creative introductions

           Participants: Partners

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions: Everyone introduces themselves to one other person as the cartoon character
           they would be if they were not who they are.

           Desired outcome: Creates a relaxed atmosphere

  10. Theatre of Excellence
           Time: Half to full day

           Purpose: Enhance learning, develop solutions, learn to work together in a nonthreatening
           environment

           Participants: Small groups

           Materials needed: Varies

           Instructions: Each team is given a ‘title’ for their play that represents the challenges and
           issues dealt with at work. The team then has X period of time to gather props and music
           and to write and rehearse their play.

           Desired outcome: Employees act out challenges and find solutions in a nonthreatening
           and fun environment.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              8
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  11. Relate to People
           Time: 2–3 minutes
           Purpose: Learn new things about co-workers

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Pens and paper

           Instructions: Group is given a list of characteristics and instructed to find people in the
           room that have those characteristics that differ from them. For example: different gender,
           weight by 20 lbs, height by seven inches, marital status, etc.

           Desired outcome: Learn new things about co-workers; encourages conversation, breaks
           down perceived barriers

  12. Airplane Caper
           Time: 1–2 minutes

           Purpose: Lighten up a tough day; re-energize

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Paper

           Instructions: Two teams are formed on opposite sides of the room; each person makes a
           paper airplane. Everyone begins to throw her or his airplane to the other side at once.
           The goal is not to let any planes land on the floor.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                              9
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  13. Animal Game
           Time: 1–2 minutes

           Purpose: Break from the ordinary, communicate in new ways

           Participants: Partners

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions: Each person tells a partner what animal they would be if they could be an
           animal; they can’t talk or write, but must only act and sound as that animal.

  14. Hit the Mark
           Time: 10 minutes

           Purpose: Relieves stress and demonstrates the power of team encouragement

           Participants: All

           Materials needed: Piece of paper, marker, tape (prizes optional)

           Instructions: Place a poster high up on a wall. One person runs across the room and
           jumps up, placing a mark as high as they can. Then they are told to try again but place it
           higher. This continues until the person is absolutely convinced they can’t reach any
           higher. Then the team is told they will be rewarded (ice cream, longer lunch hour, etc.) if
           they can get this person to make the mark higher. However, they cannot do it for the
           jumper and can’t touch them or provide a chair or other booster — they can only do this
           through encouragement.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             10
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  15. Push-Push
           Time: 1–2 minutes

           Purpose: Releases anxiety and reinforces idea of cooperation

           Participants: Partners

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions: Partners face each other and place hands palm to palm. Partner A is told to
           push as hard as possible. Next, Partner B is told not to push but to move their hands in a
           gentle swaying motion.

           Desired outcome: When you push, others push back; when you dance, others follow
           your lead.

  16. Ten Things I Do Well
           Time: 1 or 2 minutes

           Purpose: Reminds players of their personal and professional strengths

           Participants: Any number of players in partner pairs

           Materials needed: Paper and pen for follow-up assignment

           Instructions: Each player has 15 seconds to tell their partner ten things they do well.
           Follow-up assignment is for each participant to make two lists: one, a list of ten things
           they do well professionally and the other a list of ten things they do well personally. They
           must take each list and post in a conspicuous place — one at home and one at work. The
           action plan is to read one or both lists every day — forever!

           Desired outcome: Those who complete this assignment will feel a greater sense of
           confidence and pride within 21 days.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             11
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  17. I Admire Others
           Time: A few minutes

           Purpose: To develop models of behavior

           Participants: Any number of players

           Materials needed: Paper and pen

           Instructions:
           Everyone writes on a piece of paper the words, “I admire others who …” The game now
           has four steps:
           1. Instruct players to think of people they admire and why.
           2. Give the players one minute to finish that sentence. Ask them to use positive
              language; for example instead of writing, “I admire others who are not negative,”
              write “I admire others who are positive.”
                 They are to continue to write free form for one minute without regard to punctuation,
                 grammar, or spelling — just a constant flow of thoughts as they think of others they
                 admire.
           3. Have a few volunteers read what they wrote starting with the introductory words, “I
              admire others who …”
           4. Now ask that they draw a line through the words, “I admire others who …” and insert
              these words: “I am powerful when I …” Ask volunteers to read again, this time using
              the new introductory words.

           Desired outcome: Participants understand that what they most admire in others they can
           do themselves. It encourages others with simplicity and ease to be the best they can be.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             12
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  18. Flower Garden Gift
           Time: Half-day or longer

           Purpose: Do something meaningful for others

           Participants: The whole team can play

           Materials needed: Varies

           Instructions:
           • Select a site where a garden can be planted. This could be outside the building
             where the team works or at a school, hospital, nursing home, playground,
             community center.
           • Gather the necessary materials — digging tools, seeds, water, fertilizer, plant food,
             etc. and create a flower garden.
           • Variations of this game can be painting a room, decorating a wall, serving food at a
             shelter, or any other deed the whole team can do together to bring joy to others.

           Desired outcome: The amazing uplift one experiences when we give without thought
           of getting

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             13
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  19. Dress-up Monday

           Time: All day!

           Purpose: Change the “dreaded Monday” mentality

           Participants: Everyone who chooses

           Materials needed: Your best clothes

           Instructions:
           • Request that everyone who wishes to play should dress up in their very best outfits on
             Monday. Have a small celebration like coffee at the morning break; take pictures of
             the group; have a parade through the rest of the office; give prizes for brightest colors,
             longest skirt, sleekest tie, etc.
           • Do this only occasionally — a couple of times a year. Every Monday is too much and
             detracts from the uniqueness of the event.

           Desired outcome: Your team feels better about Mondays — energy and renewed interest
           will follow.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             14
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  20. What’s in Your Treasure Box?

           Time: Half to one hour

           Purpose: Players realize all the things of value they have in their lives

           Participants: Any number can play

           Materials needed: For each player: a small box, several pieces of paper and a pen

           Instructions:
           • Each person writes everything they want in their life — things they have as well as
             things they don’t yet have — but only one thing per piece of paper.
           • Ask them to take ten minutes to complete but they must pretend that when they are
             done only things they wrote will be theirs for life. Anything they forget, they will
             never have. For example, if they forget to write ‘good health’ they will not have it in
             their lives. So suggest they write fast and include essentials first.
           • When complete, ask them to put all pieces of paper with things they have inside their
             ‘treasure boxes.’ Their assignment is to put one action step on the back of each paper
             for something they don’t have, which will help get it in the box.

           Desired outcome: The marvelous discovery we already have much of what we truly value
           and clarity on how to start acquiring the rest.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             15
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  21. Ready, Set, Relax!
           Purpose: Loosen up tight muscles right at your desk

           Participants: Alone or all together — any number

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions:
           Do five repetitions each of the following — all done in seated position:
           Hunch up shoulders to your ears, roll them back, down, and forward making
           large circles.
           a. Bend you neck so that your right ear moves toward your right shoulder, straighten,
              move your left ear toward you left shoulder, straighten; tilt head forward until chin
              touches chest, straighten; head back to look at ceiling.
           b. Raise right arm over your head, bend your elbow so right hand is behind your head,
              and bend to the left as far as you can; repeat with left arm, hand, and side.
           c. Lift your right arm over your head and straight up; move it forward, down, and back
              drawing a large circle; repeat with the left arm.
           d. Squeeze your face, eyes, mouth, cheeks, making them all tight and small; now
              quickly open your eyes and mouth as wide as possible.

           Desired outcome: Relieves tension, feels good — gets a laugh if anyone is watching!

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             16
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  22. Nerf Ball Break
           Time: Seconds to minutes

           Purpose: Stress reliever, team energizer

           Participants: Any number of players

           Materials needed: One or more nerf balls

           Instructions
           • Throw a nerf ball at someone. They can respond or not. You can have just one ball
             per team, or everyone gets one.
           • A variation of this game is to throw the ball only to signal a particular event. For
             example if your team hates to get a certain question on a call like, “why can’t I get
             this in green?” or every time they make a sale they get to throw a nerf ball.

           Desired outcome: Adds fun, lightens up the atmosphere, and connects team members

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             17
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  23. Walk This Way
           Time: 10–15 minutes

           Purpose: Encourages risk

           Participants: All can play — one at a time

           Materials needed: Music

           Instructions: Everyone stands in a room leaving a path through the middle of the group.
           One person at a time walks or dances through the path from one end to the other. Each
           person in turn must follow, but each walk or dance step must be different than any that
           have been done before.

           Desired outcome: As one person said, “After you’ve behaved like an idiot, for the rest of
           the day you’ll take any risk to get the job done!”

  24. Tailgate Party
           Time: 1 hour plus

           Purpose: Reward for job well done

           Participants: Everyone

           Materials needed: Food, truck, music, sports equipment

           Instructions: For lunch, have a party in the parking lot using the tailgate of someone’s
           truck. Provide food; let the radio blast music, have Frisbees or other sports paraphernalia,
           and play ball!

           Desired outcome: A time to relax and regenerate both mentally and physically

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             18
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  25. Contract Run
           Time: 30 minutes

           Purpose: Release energy

           Participants: All can play — teams of five to ten

           Materials needed: One to three flip charts on easels, markers

           Instructions:
           • Small groups take one person at a time. That person yells out a string of adjectives
             that describes them — must be neutral to positive. For example, “I am a smart,
             persuasive, effective engineer.” Or, “I am a warm, loving, happy woman.” The group
             must demand the highest level of energy possible.
           • When the group believes the speaker is sincere, they all [the speaker surrounded by
             their small group] run as one unit to the other side of the room and write quickly on a
             flip chart what they said and sign their names.
           • The group then takes the next person in the group, repeats the action, and continues
             until everyone has completed the process. The two critical factors of this game are
             speed and energy — not accuracy.
           • These ‘contracts’ are then presented to each person at a follow-up meeting and can
             be hung in their cubicles/offices to remind the world of who they are.

           Desired outcome: Fun, revealing, and good physical exercise.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             19
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  26. Time Out
           Time: Takes 3 seconds

           Purpose: Reverse a bad attitude

           Participants: Anyone at any time

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions: If anyone within hearing says something negative, you make a time-out
           signal with your hands. But you must be sensitive to the other person’s problems by
           smiling broadly while doing it.

           Desired outcome: A simple but effective way to keep conversations positive.

  27. Hula Hoop Fortune
           Time: Less than a minute

           Purpose: Stimulate creativity

           Participants: All can play

           Materials needed: Paper and pens

           Instructions: Pretend you have just inherited a warehouse full of hula hoops. In 30
           seconds, write what you would do with them. Share ideas when done. Now turn to the
           ‘real’ problem you’re trying to solve.

           Desired outcome: Breaks up tension and blocked thinking

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             20
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  28. Whaddya Know?
           Time: A few seconds

           Purpose: Reinforce knowledge, liven up a boring meeting

           Participants: Any number can play — one at a time

           Materials needed: List of questions

           Instructions:
           Bring a list of ten questions to a meeting. They can be questions about your business, the
           people you serve, your products — things your team should know but nothing too easy.
           Without warning, pop a question to the group or direct it to one individual. Every correct
           answer gets a candy bar or some other small reward.

           Desired outcome: Employees learn more about the business they are in — and meetings
           take on a little mystery.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             21
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  29. Wear Your Attitude
           Time: A few seconds

           Purpose: Encourages all to be conscious of attitudes they are displaying

           Participants: Everyone can play

           Materials needed: Attitude buttons

           Instructions:
           Have buttons or laminated cards with a variety of attitudes on them; such as happy,
           angry, friendly, generous, sad, worried, excellent, etc. As each person enters work, allow
           them to pick the attitude they would like to display. People who pick unattractive ones
           can be avoided and the pleasant ones will get all the smiles, encouragement, and
           positive attention.
           Anyone can change their ‘button attitude’ at any time.

           Desired outcome: Bring awareness about how transparent our moods are and what we
           get as a result.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             22
30 Team-Building Games, Activities, and Ideas,
continued
  30. Purpose Mingle
           Time: One minute

           Purpose: Focus participants before the meeting begins

           Participants: Everyone attending the meeting

           Materials needed: None

           Instructions:
           Before the meeting begins, everyone must stand up and tell as many others as they can in
           one minute what they hope to contribute to the meeting.
           For best results, offer a simple prize for the most people contacted and a bigger prize for
           the most generous contribution expressed.

           Desired outcome: Allows players to think about what they will give to a meeting rather
           than what they will get. Encourages participation from the start.

HR ETS M7-3 download © 2008 Rockhurst University Continuing Education Center, Inc. All rights reserved.
                                                                             23
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel